There are two primary ways of raising cattle. Cows that freely roam the pastures and fields grazing mainly on grass produce grass-fed beef. The second: cattle are kept in feedlots. These are buildings or areas that may contain separate compartment-type units for each animal, begin their lives grazing on grass but are then transferred to feedlots and fed a diet mainly of grain and also soy, corn and other supplements.
Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef
• Mad Cow Disease, Foot and Mouth Disease and the E. coli infection, the three illnesses that originate within livestock and cause great concern, are less prominent in grass-fed cattle.
• Contains up to five times higher levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLA) which has been proven to be beneficial in the weight loss process and in the prevention of major diseases.
• Has significantly fewer calories than grain-fed beef.
• Cattle feeding on grass absorb omega-3 from the grass, providing the omega-3 fat that’s crucial to sustaining good health. Natural grass fed cows also contain levels of Vitamin A and E that are four times higher than in grain-fed animals.
Cattle were designed to eat grass, not grain. When livestock are raised in their natural environment, the meat that’s produced can be healthy and beneficial for those who eat it. Meat that comes from grass-fed cattle is not only lower in saturated fat but in overall fat as well.
Animals that are on feed lots also receive growth hormones to boost growth for earlier slaughter and receive antibiotics on a routine basis to prevent the illnesses that can regularly occur as a result of the animals being kept in close quarters. Typically, grass fed cattle receive little to no antibiotics and do not receive growth hormone shots.
The term “free range” can be applied to grass-fed animals, not because they graze on grass, but because they are allowed to roam freely through the fields and pastures. The rules regarding the labeling of products as “free range” are unregulated. Thus, this term mainly describes the method in which animals are kept rather than referring to their diets.
Most of the beef sold in urban areas is grain-fed meat. The best way to purchase authentic grass-fed beef is from farmers and ranchers who are raising grass-fed cattle or from a natural foods market, such as Whole Foods. Some people may think that organic beef is the best to buy but labeling meat “organic” usually only means that the cattle were fed organic grain. Thus, the meat will only be slightly better than grain-fed beef but still not nearly as nutritious as grass-fed meat.
When looking for grass fed beef or steak, read the label on the package. It should clearly state that the cows were fed a diet of grass.
Possible Negative Aspects of Grass-Fed Beef
• Beef that comes from grass-fed animals has a distinctly different taste and smell from grain-fed livestock. People who are accustomed to eating grain-fed beef, it may be necessary for them to acquire a taste for grass-fed beef. In the end, grass fed is tastier than grain fed.
• There is a concern about cholesterol levels in all beef, whether it‘s grass- or grain-fed. Therefore we advise that people keep their consumption of beef to a moderate level.
• Grass fed beef is more expensive than regular beer.
It is widely-known that using feedlots is cheaper than using pastures and consumers want cheap stuff. But sometimes cheap does not mean good. Eating a delicious, healthy burger is great; but have you thought about what that cow ate before it was slaughtered? Consider spending a few dollars more to get higher quality meat that is tastier and safer.
We know things are much better when done the natural way . This being the case, grass-fed cattle is considered to have the better and healthier diet, thus producing healthier beef for human consumption. Allowing the cattle to roam freely outdoors instead of confining them in feedlots involves a more humane and safer way to raise cattle.
Now enjoy that grass fed burger.
(3) http://animalrights.about.com/od/animalsusedforfood/a/GrassFedBeef.htm, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle_feeding